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Lesson 7

Lesson 7

This experiment would be done after a discussion of Newton's First Law, which states:
Every body continues its motion in a straight line unless compelled by some force to do otherwise.
In other words, if an object speeds up, slows down or changes direction, a force caused it do so. The cart running off the slope eventually stops. So there must be a force causing this change. This force is called friction.

Experiment (Factors affecting Friction)

Allow the cart to run down the slope. Measure the distance it travels on the flat surface. Increase the mass of the cart and measure the distance traveled again. Do this for 4 different masses. Make sure you start the cart at the same point each time you run the experiment. What do you notice about the distance traveled as the mass is increased?

Replace the flat surface with a piece of carpet and repeat the experiment above. What do you notice about the distance traveled?

Replace the wheels on the cart with broader ones and repeat the experiment. What happens to the distance traveled when the wheels are broader?

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